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Tracker: State Legislation to Protect Election Officials

In recent years, election workers and officials have been the target of ongoing threats and harassment.

The table below illustrates where states have passed or are in the process of debating legislation to protect election officials, as well as states that already had protections in their code.

 

Bills Introduced 2022 – Present 

STATEBILLDESCRIPTIONSTATUS
AlabamaHB 100Establishes increased penalties for a crime committed against an election official that is motivated by an individual's role as an election official. This bill would also establish that a felony committed against an election official which is motivated by an individual's role as an election official is a crime of moral turpitudeIntroduced in 2024, Active
ArizonaSB 1517Makes doxxing election workers illegal and extends existing definition of election officer to volunteer pollwokers andIntroduced in 2024, Active
ArizonaSB 1518Makes threatening, coersion, intimidation, retaliation, obstruction of election workers a crime and allows for civil action as an additional remedy.Introduced in 2024, Active
ConnecticutSubstitute HB 6912Makes it a crime to harasses or intimidate, or attempt to harass or intimidate, any election worker in the performance of any duty, including disclosure of personal informationIntroduced in 2023, Active
FloridaH-721 https://legiscan.com/FL/bill/H0721/2024 / S-562Makes it a crime to intimidate, threaten, coerce, or harass an election worker with the intent to impede their duty, or as retaliation for their work as an election workerIntroduced in 2024, Active
HawaiiHB1786Makes it a crime to harasses or intimidate, or attempt to harass or intimidate, any election worker in the performance of any duty, including disclosure of personal information. allocates funds.Introduced in 2024, Active
IndianaHB-1465Makes it a crime to threaten an election workerIntroduced in 2023
IndianaSB-170Makes it a felony to take certain actions: (1) for the purpose of influencing an election worker; (2) to obstruct or interfere with an election worker; or (3) that injure an election worker.Introduced in 2024, Active
IllinoisHB4827Makes it a crime to, impede, threaten or , intimidate. an election worker while on duty. Prohibits doxxing election workers. Introduced in 2024, Active
IowaHF 2498Makes it a crime to intentionally hinder, interfere with, or prevent an election official in the performance of the election official’s duties: dox an election official or their family that poses an imminent and serious threat; Intentionally alter or damage any computer software or any physical part of voting equipment; or create or disclose an electronic image of the hard drive of a voting systemIntroduced in 2024, Active
KansasHB-2190Prohibits threatening, intimidating, hindering, etc. an election worker on duty or in retaliation for their works. Makes it a crime to not comply with voter registration regulation.Introduced in 2023, Active
MarylandHB 585/ SB 480Makes it a crime to threaten or coerce an election official or to dox an election officialIntroduced in 2023, Re-Introduced 2024, Active
MassachusettsSB-1013Makes it a crime to threaten, intimidate, coerce, or harass an election worker while they are conducting their duties, or in retaliation for the actions of an election worker; makes it a crime to dox an election workerIntroduced in 2023
MissouriSB 926 Makes it a crime to tamper with, harass, or intimidate an election official; makes it a crime to dox an election officialIntroduced in 2023, Re-Introduced in 2024, Active
NebraskaLB-1390Makes it a crime to dox, obstruct, hinder, assault, bribe, solicit, threaten, harass, eject, remove, molest, or interfere with election workers. Creates report of all reported threats and harassment of election workersIntroduced in 2024, Active
New HampshireHB 1364Makes it a crime to threaten or intimidate an election official in retaliation against the official on account of the official's performance of the official's duties; makes it a crime to dox an election official; prevents election officials from tampering with the voting system, and requires that voting systems are protected by key card accessIntroduced in 2024, Active
New JerseyS-167Makes it a crime to intimidate, threaten or coerce any election official or election worker in the discharge of their duties; prevents doxxing of an election official; allows an election official to make their information private; mandates audits on election machinesIntroduced in 2022, Re-Introduced in 2024, Active
New YorkAB-4759Makes it a crime to intimidate or interfere with, or attempt to intimidate or interfere with, the ability of any person or any class of persons to vote or qualify to vote, or a poll watcher, or any legally authorized election official, in any primary, special, or general electionIntroduced in 2023, Active
North CarolinaSB-313/ HB-372Expands the crime of threatening an election official; allows a civil remedy and compensation in addition to the existing criminal punishments; creates crime of threatening and intimidating voters and of refusal to certify an election; creates guidelines for audits of electionsIntroduced in 2023, Active
OhioSB-173Allows election officials to have their private information kept confidential, adds them to current statues which protect firefighters and police officers; may not apply to part time election workersIntroduced in 2023, Active
Rhode IslandH7447Extends the crime of making a threat to take the life of, or to inflict bodily harm upon, a public official to election workers and poll workers.Introduced in 2024, Active
South CarolinaH 5006Makes it a crime to harasses or intimidate, or attempt to harass or intimidate, any election worker in the performance of any duty, including disclosure of personal information. Makes doxxing election workers a crime. Makes tampering with election systems a crime.Introduced in 2024, Active
South CarolinaHB 4117Makes it a crime to interfere with election officials or election workers holding an election or conducting a canvass so as to prevent, obstruct, impair, or hinder the election or canvass from being fairly held and lawfully conductedIntroduced in 2023, Active
South DakotaSB-20Makes it a crime to directly or indirectly, utter or address any threat or intimidation to an election official or election worker with the intent to improperly influence an election.Introduced in 2023, Active
TexasSB-293Makes it a crime to use or threatens force, coercion, violence, restraint, damage, harm, or loss against an election official in the performance of their duties and to dox an election officialIntroduced in 2023
TexasHB-3510Makes it a crime to intimidate or threaten an election official in the performance of their duties.Introduced in 2023
VirginiaSB-364Makes attacks on election workers a hate crime; provides civil remedy for threats and harassment; makes it a crime to hinder the administration of election; shields providers from liability who act to protect election workers; allows election workers to hide their personal information.Introduced in 2024, Active
WashingtonHB 1241Modifies crimes of harassment and cyber harassment to cover conduct that is lewd or threatens bodily injury, property damage, confinement, or
other malicious threats.Increases penalty for harassment of an election official to a class C felony;
Allows election officials who are harassed to apply for the address
confidentiality program.
Introduced in 2023, Active
WisconsinHB-300Mandates the state to keep confidential personal information of election officials; expands whistleblower protections to municipal clerks; creates a crime of battery towards election officialsIntroduced in 2023, Active
WyomingHB-139Adds doxxing to other crimes of threats and harassment of election officials.Introduced in 2023
WyomingHB-37Makes attacks on election officials aggravated assault.Introduced in 2024

Bills Passed January, 2022 – Present

STATEBILLDESCRIPTIONSTATUS
ArizonaSB-1061Addresses doxxing & Allows public officials, including election workers, to have their personal information removed from the public record if they believe that their life or safety is in dangerEnacted in 2023
CaliforniaSB-485Makes it a crime to interfere with the officers holding an election or conducting a canvass, as to prevent the election or canvass from being fairly held and lawfully conducted, or with the voters lawfully exercising their rights of voting at an electionEnacted in 2023
CaliforniaSB-1131Allows election workers to keep their personal information confidential and eliminates the requirement to post the names of the precinct board membersEnacted in 2022
ColoradoHB-22-1273Makes it a crime to interfere with an election worker, or to threaten or retaliate against them; defines election worker; makes it a crime to knowingly dox an election official, and includes a confidentiality program for getting information removedEnacted in 2022
MaineHB-1821Provides standardized training for election officials, and makes it a crime to intentionally interfere by force, intimidation, or violence in the work of an election official or someone perceived to be an election official while they are performing their duty; provides reporting requirements for threats and harassmentEnacted in 2022
MichiganH-4129Makes it a crime to intimidate an election
official, with the specific intent of interfering with the performance of that election official’s election-related duties
Enacted in 2023
MinnesotaHB-3Makes it a crime to intimidate an election worker, interfere with election administration, dox an election worker, or tamper with voting equipmentEnacted in 2023
MontanaSB-61Makes it a crime to intimidate an election worker, interfere with election administration, dox an election worker, or tamper with voting equipmentEnacted in 2023
NevadaSB-406Provides definition of election official and makes it a crime to interfere with their dutiesEnacted in 2023
New HampshireSB-405Makes it a crime to threaten, coerce, intimidate or use any violence against an election worker while they are performing their duties or as retaliation; makes it a crime to dox an election workerEnacted in 2022
New MexicoSB-43Makes it a crime to intimidate, coerce, or threaten an election worker; makes it a crime for an election official to knowingly fail to perform their dutiesEnacted in 2023
North DakotaSB-2292Makes it a crime to intimidate an election official for the purpose of impeding or preventing the free exercise of the elective franchise or the impartial administration of the election or Election CodeEnacted in 2023
OklahomaSB-481Makes it a crime to "cause a disturbance, breach the peace, or obstruct a qualified elector or a member of the election board on the way to or at a polling place"Enacted in 2023
OregonHB-4144Makes it a crime to dox an election official.Enacted in 2022
VermontSB-265Creates crime of harassment and aggravated harassment of an election worker; establishes a confidentiality program for election workers to have their information removed from public recordEnacted in 2022
WashingtonSB-5628Makes it a crime to terrify, intimidate, or unlawfully influence the conduct of a candidate for public office, a public servant, an election official, or a public employeeEnacted in 2022

 

Previously Existing Protections for Election Officials* 

STATEBILLDESCRIPTION
AlaskaAS 15.56.060(a)Makes it a crime to induce or attempt to induce an election official to fail in the official's duty by force, threat, intimidation, or offers of reward
DelawareTitle 15 § 5118Makes it a crime to attempt to molest, disturb or prevent the election officers from proceeding regularly with any general or special election
GeorgiaGeorgia Code § 21-2-566Criminalizes the use or threat of violence in a manner that would prevent a poll officer from the execution of his or her duties, or materially interrupts or improperly and materially interferes with the execution of a poll officer's duties
LouisianaRS 14:122Protects election officials from violence or threats interfering with their position, employment or duties
North CarolinaG.S. 163-275 (11)Criminalizes the intimidation or attempted intimidation of any chief judge, judge of election or other election officer in the discharge of duties in the registration of voters or in conducting any primary or election
PennsylvaniaTitle 18 § 4702Makes it a crime to threaten unlawful harm to any person with intent to influence his decision, opinion, recommendation, vote or other exercise of discretion as a public servant, party official or voter
Pennsylvania25 Pa. Stat. § 3527Makes it a crime to attempt to prevent any election officers from holding any primary or election, or threaten any violence to any such officer.
Utah§ 20A-1-603Makes it a crime to interfere in any manner with any election official in the discharge of the election official's duties
Virginia§ 24.2-1000Criminalizes bribery, intimidation, threats, coercion, or other means in violation of the election laws to hinder the officer.
West Virginia§3-9-10States that any person who prevents or attempts to prevent any officer whose duty it is by law to assist in holding an election, or in counting the votes cast, is guilty of a misdemeanor
Wyoming22-26-111Makes it a crime to intimidate an election official or elector for the purpose of impeding or preventing the free exercise of the elective franchise or the impartial administration of the Election Code

*This list only includes states where election officials are referenced specifically. Many more states such as Idaho and Utah protect elected officials or people working as public officers. These protections apply to some election officials, and may apply to all election workers depending on the state.

 

Election Officials Are Under Attack

Free and fair elections are the necessary foundation of a healthy democracy, but across the United States, the people responsible for facilitating elections are increasingly under threat:

  • Ongoing attacks against local election officials have hindered already underfunded election offices and jeopardized the ability to administer future elections.
  • One in three election officials surveyed in 2022 knew someone who left their job running elections because they didn’t feel safe.
  • One in five election officials planned to leave their jobs before 2024.
  • In some states, more than half the local election officials have left since 2020. In Arizona, 12 of the state’s 15 county election chiefs have departed. In Pennsylvania, nearly 70 county election directors or assistant directors in at least 40 of the state’s 67 counties have left their jobs.

Many States With Laws Protecting Election Officials Can Still Do More

It is important to note that many states that have laws protecting election officials can do more to provide protections. For example, many states have only protected election officials from doxxing, or the protections are only in the administration of the election and not for acts of retaliation against election officials who simply did their jobs on election day.

Protecting Against “Insider Threats” and Ensuring Elections Are Funded

In addition to protections for election officials, election offices and systems need investment and protection.  Due to the added pressures of administering elections, it is important that states increase funding and resources for election officials. Legislation to protect against “insider threats” from election workers such as the critical voting system architecture intentionally taken in Coffee County, Ga. and Mesa County, Colo. is also essential. For example, Colorado and Minnesota (HF 1830) have passed comprehensive protections to codify best practices for election system security, as well as detect, prevent and if needed to penalize actors who tamper with election systems.

 

See an error or want to share information on state legislation to protect election officials? Please contact Aquene Freechild at afreechild@citizen.org or Jonah Minkoff-Zern at jzern@citizen.org.

Last Updated:  February 22, 2024